Effects of a DUI on a Nursing License
On many occasions, a medical professional will call in a panic after they have been arrested and charged with DUI in Arizona. One of their main concerns is whether their nursing license will be suspended or revoked as a result of the DUI charge. I have represented many nurses, doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals charged with DUI and have been able to resolve their cases without a loss of their medical licenses.
Undoubtedly, Arizona imposes some of the harshest penalties in the country upon people who have been charged with DUI. The consequences for a misdemeanor DUI, Extreme DUI or Super Extreme DUI include jail sentences between one day and six months, huge fines, mandatory breathalyzer devices on a vehicle, probation, loss of driving privileges and alcohol education classes. Usually, licensed medical professionals such as doctors or nurses are required to report a DUI charge or arrest to the nursing board or board. This agency will usually ask for copies of the DUI police reports, blood or breath tests results and any other relevant information. Certainly, any time a person's license and opportunity to work in their chosen profession is placed in jeopardy, there is alot at stake.
The good news is that in most cases, a person will not lose their license following a misdemeanor DUI charge or conviction. Usually, the applicable question is whether you suffer from substance abuse issues which pose a significant risk of harm to your patients. A first offense DUI, because they are very common in Arizona, should not place you in that category. However, the regulatory agency may require you to undergo substance abuse counseling and ask for more information when your license is coming up for renewal.
Of course, there are certain cases where a person can lose their nursing or other medical license. This may occur in situations where there have been multiple DUI convictions, where drugs are involved or if the DUI is prosecuted as a felony, Aggravated DUI.
Probably the best advice to avoid placing your medical license at risk is to refrain from drinking alcohol and driving. However, if you do find yourself stopped by police after having some drinks remember:
- Be Polite
- Provide your License, Registration and Insurance
- Do Not Participate in any Roadside Tests
- Immediately Request to Speak with an Attorney before Answering any Questions or Taking a Blood, Breath or Urine Test.
If you have been charged with DUI in Arizona, please call me at (480) 833-8613 for a free office consultation. I am happy to discuss the facts of your case, possible defenses and options with you.